Blockbuster: Disney to buy 21st Century Fox assets for $52.4 billion

US-MEDIA-LIFESTYLE-MERGER-FOX-DISNEY

Disney has purchased 21st Century Fox's film studio and a large chunk of its television production assets for $52.4 billion. After reports of the company's potential deal with Disney went wide, that number shot up-the company's stock had risen to $32.75 by Wednesday.

The sports networks include the YES Network in New York, Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West in Los Angeles, and networks that carry 44 professional teams in Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the NHL.

After protracted negotiations which appeared to be faltering at one point, Disney has paid $66bn for Fox's entertainment assets, including the 20th Century Fox film studio and a controlling stake in Sky.

Disney will also acquire Fox assets like the "Avatar" series, "The Simpsons", and the first "Star Wars" film.

The deal does not include Fox News, Fox Sports, the broadcast network, or local stations.

"Disney will be able to offer more ways than ever before to bring kids and families the world and all that is in it", the company said in its press release announcing the deal. Coupled to Disney's existing 30% share, that would give the company a controlling interest ...

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While the Boards of Directors for both Disney and 21st Century Fox have already approved the deal, it's still subject to approval by the shareholders of both companies.

In a statement, Murdoch said: "We are extremely proud of all that we have built at 21st Century Fox".

"This gives us the ability to marry the great content of Fox with the great content of Disney, it gives us a much larger worldwide footprint, and it enables us to use cutting-edge technology to reach consumers in far more compelling ways", Iger told ABC's "Good Morning America" program. He argued Disney had acquired a "stellar collection of entertainment business and franchises" from Fox.

Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger, 66, will extend his tenure through the end of 2021 to oversee the integration of the Fox businesses. But in a conference call with investors on Thursday morning, Iger said there are no immediate plans for James Murdoch.

"I don't see FX as being anywhere near the kind of gem as CNN or HBO", Hay said.

"And during that period of time, he and I will continue to discuss whether there is a role for him here or not. I'm grateful and encouraged that Bob has agreed to stay on, and is committed to succeeding with a combined team that is second to none".

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